The latest offering that I received from The Ooze Viral Bloggers is the book "About You" by Dick Staub. The subtitles to the book are probably one of the best parts of the book and cover exactly what Staub is getting at in the book. The one subtitle is "Fully Human, Fully Alive." and the second one is "Jesus didn't come to make us Christians; Jesus came to make us fully human."
That second subtitle is actually a quote from Hans Rookmaaker, a theologian and author. The other day while being interviewed by a seminary student about Veritas, I was asked the question, "What gets you excited in ministry." and my answer must have reflected this reading when I said, "Someone who becomes fully alive."
There are lots of great stuff in this book about how we have settled for the mundane, ordinary existence but we were, in the words of Switchfoot,
"We were meant to live for so much more Have we lost ourselves? Somewhere we live inside Somewhere we live inside We were meant to live for so much more Have we lost ourselves? Somewhere we live inside"
We are meant to live a life that Jesus calls the "abundant life." Or what St. Irenaeus said, "The glory of God is man fully alive."
There are a lot of great thoughts in this book and I needed to hear it as I have often been guilty of just settling, of going through the ruts and routine, and missing the beauty, the majesty, the deeper, fuller life that Jesus calls us to.
Here are some quotes that I especially resonated with:
"Jesus' authenticity and vibrant humanness attracted people and intriqued them."
"The Jesus would jumped off the pages was a radical thinker who was actively present in his culture (not withdrawn from it), was a loving presence (not hostile), and was a transforming presence in his culture (not a conformist). He clearly marched to the beat of a different drum. And I was relieved to see he did not carry the baggage associated with the religion that bears his name. He did not demonize, alienate, and demean fallen people; he loved them. He revealed to everybody- from the smug religious tyupes like Pharisees to social and religious outcasts like prostitutes and drunkards- that there was a more abundant and full life available t othem now, not just in the future."
"For centuries thereafter it was Christians who created a better and richer culture, writing the best music, creating the best art, and cultivating a rigorously intellectual life. They also rolled up their sleeves and served society in practical ways, providing care for the physically infirm, offering community to the lonely outsiders and financial assistance to the poor. They pursued science as a way of understanding the universe and harmonized their theology to fit the facts they discovered in their no-holds-barred scientific inquiry. It became obvious to me that Jesus calls us not to become entrapped in religious practices that make us less human but rather to a dynamic, zestful, fully alive and fully human experience." (This is a great quote and really connects with what I feel the calling is for Veritas).
There are a lot more quotes that I could share but I will end with a quote that spells out the book and the reason for it, and one of the reasons that Jesus, I believe, came to earth. John 10:10 says, "I have come that they may have life and have it to the fullest."